What is data-based art?


Data-based art includes what is known as data visualisation (or dataviz) and data storytelling (for example interactive design and infographics), but as any other art form, it can move beyond representation to become more critical, experimental, and explorative. Data arts also move beyond the visual, to create artwork using sound, dance, movement, or sculpture.


Data art can help health and wellbeing stakeholders spread key messages about health and wellbeing, and can provoke debate and discussion. The ART/DATA/HEALTH project explores how creative approaches based on a range of data can help people to explore health and wellbeing in an engaging and meaningful way.



Combining creative languages with data can help make a difference in local communities.

Take a look at these examples of striking data visualisation using photography and sculpture. Both of them are trying to raise awareness of different forms of pollution in very striking, visually clear ways. Each of these campaigns will be backed up by complex sets of data, but it is these images which tell a story and can lead to changes in behaviour.

Greenpeace images showing a dead albatross and its stomach contents

Campaign poster by Greenpeace with Publicis Mojo Auckland. Photograph of Albatross chick, © David Liittschwager, 2005. Photograph of stomach contents, © Susan Middleton, 2005.

Greenpeace poster campaign: ‘How to starve to death on a full stomach’

The caption reads: ‘How to starve to death on a full stomach. The 272 pieces of rubbish pictured above were fed to this fledging albatross along with fish caught by its mother. The plastic accumulated in its stomach until it was literally ‘too full to eat’. Careless and unregulated dumping is just one of the ways we’re killing our oceans. Become an ocean defender at’

WWF community campaign: ‘Black Cloud’

This campaign uses one very striking piece of art to highlight a key issue at a single glance. The text on the balloon reads: ‘Drive one day less and look how much carbon monoxide you’ll keep out of the air we breathe.’

Image showing a sculpture forming a large black cloud coming out of a car's exhaust pipe